Kicking and Protesting Into the Kingdom

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”— John 6:44 When a friend told me that there was no way he was looking for God—it was God who came hunting for him—I believed him.

God’s pursuing love saves us.

When Jesus says the Father “draws” us, He is using a very strong Greek word that means “compelled or dragged along” like the pull of a man’s inner life, like the current of a river.

Think of the story of John Newton, the converted slave trader famous for writing the song Amazing Grace. He says of himself, “I went to Africa that I might sin to my heart’s content. I was a wild beast on the coast of Africa till the Lord caught and tamed me.”

He wasn’t seeking salvation; the Lord pursued him.

All of us can look back and understand why certain things happened and how they brought us closer to the reality of God.

There is a process.

We are on a journey where our understanding increases and our eyes are opened. Sometimes the process is slow; sometimes it happens suddenly. Often it’s painful because pain gets our attention. Eventually, we realize it is the goodness and kindness of God that leads us to Him (Romans 2:4).

This process is not just for unbelievers who need to be saved. Believers also go through a series of revelations in our lives, as God works to draw us nearer and nearer to Him.

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

So if we have to be dragged with force and compelled to salvation and an intimate relationship with God, if we are all drawn into the kingdom kicking and protesting, then what hope is there for our stubborn hearts?

We are saved because what God uses to drag us to Himself  is the overwhelming power of His love, mercy, and grace. We are compelled by His sacrifice on the cross, His patient loving kindness, and the lengths to which He will go to draw us in.

For that I am thankful.